ABB Selling Solar Inverter Business

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Global technology company ABB is selling its solar inverter business to Italy-based FIMER S.p.A.

According to the partners, the transaction will enhance the future prospects of the solar inverter business and will enable ABB to focus on other markets.

ABB, which is based out of Switzerland, says the solar inverter business has approximately 800 employees in more than 30 countries, with manufacturing and R&D sites located in Italy, India and Finland. Part of ABB’s electrification segment, the business achieved revenues of approximately $290 million in 2018. It includes the solar inverter business from Power-One, acquired by ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division in 2013.

FIMER will honor all existing warranties, and ABB will compensate FIMER for taking over the business and its liabilities.

As a result, ABB expects to take an after-tax non-operational charge of approximately $430 million in the second quarter of this year, with half-year results to be impacted accordingly. Around 75% of this charge is represented by cash outflows ABB will pay to FIMER from the deal-closing date through 2025. In addition, ABB expects up to $40 million of carve-out-related separation costs starting in the second half of the year.

After closing the transaction, ABB expects the operational EBITA margin for its electrification business to be positively impacted by slightly more than 50 basis points, supporting the business’ progress towards its target margin corridor of 15%-19%.

Completion of the deal is expected in the first quarter of 2020. It will be subject to certain conditions, including the completion of the carve-out and prior consultation with employee representative bodies.

“The divestment is in line with our strategy of ongoing systematic portfolio management to strengthen competitiveness and focus on quality of revenue and higher-growth segments,” says Tarak Mehta, president of ABB’s electrification business. “Solar is a well-established and key focus for FIMER, and as such, we believe them to be a very good owner for ABB’s solar inverter business. The combination of the portfolios under FIMER will support further sales growth. Through our intelligent low- and medium-voltage offering, ABB will continue to integrate solar power into a range of smart solutions, including smart buildings, energy storage and electric vehicle charging.”

Filippo Carzaniga, CEO of FIMER, says, “We are glad to announce this further step in our development, as FIMER’s focus on the solar business will be greatly enhanced by this integration. Our commitment to positively influencing the energy market will be realized through the development of new product platforms and innovative digital technologies. We will continue the excellent job carried out by ABB in recent years, combining precious resources, knowledge and expertise in Italy and worldwide. With a strengthened portfolio, we are better placed to shape the future of this increasingly strategic business.”

FIMER, active in inverter technology since 1983, calls itself the world’s eighth-largest inverter manufacturer. Its main business is producing inverters for solar photovoltaic plants, welding and charging stations for electric vehicles at its plant in Vimercate, Italy.

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